Disney, SK Telecom form JV

New company will launch Korean-language channels

Updated 3:48 pm, May 15 Beijing time

SEOUL -- The Walt Disney Company and SK Telecom, South Korea’s leading telecommunications service provider, are expected form a joint venture to launch Korean-language Disney-branded channels slated for spring 2011. The channels will be the first Disney channels in the world to launch as a joint venture.
The joint venture plans to launch Korean-language versions of Disney Channel and Playhouse Disney Channel targeted at kids and families. They will be available in HD multiplex, as well as SD format over cable, direct-to-home and IPTV platforms and related on-demand digital media services in South Korea. A significant portion of the programming will be locally produced.
SK Telecom will be the majority (51%) shareholder in the joint venture. Disney will provide content, marketing expertise, and local content production and acquisition support.
“The joint venture with Disney carries significant meaning, especially considering the business environment nowadays where customers consume content not only through television, but through an array of devices, including mobile handsets, laptop computers and tablet PCs,” says SK Telecom President and CEO Man-won Jung. “In the future, by forging a close strategic alliance with Disney, we hope to create more opportunities between the two parties.”
“South Korea is one of the most exciting digital media markets in the world. Disney’s creativity and innovative content, combined with SK Telecom’s leading global expertise in digital media and telecommunications, present a unique offering that meets the growing consumer appetite for quality family entertainment where and when they want it," Andy Bird, chairman of Walt Disney International said in a statement.